Gloucestershire Deaf Association: How 17 brave souls completed Three Peak challenge!

Posted on June 1, 2017

A team of seventeen brave souls set of for Scotland on Friday 19th May, ready to start their epic Three Peak Challenge in aid of GDA. The weather forecast for the weekend was looking, well, wet across all three mountains but we didn’t let that dampen any spirits.

The team started their challenge on the morning of 20th May, with the imposing Ben Nevis; the first and toughest peak they were going to tackle. Despite starting off in the rain, the cloud lifted and revealed stunning scenery as the group ascended higher.

The foot-deep snow at the summit was a bit of a treat as well as challenging to walk through, but it provided much entertainment on the way down! Top tip- the quickest way to get down a mountain is to slide on your bottom on the snow!

Some footage of the team can be seen below:

With the tallest mountain successfully climbed, it was a quick turn-around before setting off on a seven hour coach drive down to Yorkshire to attempt Scafell Pike – in the dark.

The very uneven and rocky terrain under foot made it particularly tricky, and the strong winds at the top made it even more precarious. Coming down the mountain brought its own challenges, with steep slippy rocks to contend with. There were a few falls at this point and injuries starting to take hold, but nothing was going to stop us finishing.

We’d been promised a slightly ‘easier’ mountain with Snowdon. We’d take the steeper and ‘quicker’ Pyg track up and come down the Miners track, the longer but more gradual of the two. The earlier rain had made the rocks tricky to navigate. Steep rocky steps and low energy levels were taking their toll and made the final ascent the hardest part yet. We arrived at the summit of Snowdon in the same way we had reached the previous two summits, with thick cloud covering any view! But we had made it! We had climbed all three mountains in twenty-four hours!

With knees, feet and legs really beginning to ache now and energy levels completed zapped, we hobbled down the Railway track; a longer route but it meant not having to negotiate our way back down the rocks we’d already suffered coming up. Not the route we’d expected to take but much more sensible given the state our bodies were in at that point.

All seventeen of us made it to our finish point in Llanberis where we were greeted by supporters who’d made the journey up to welcome us back. The bubbles were popped open and the celebrations had begun. We’d completed our challenge. It was tough; the toughest thing any of us had ever done. It pushed us to our limited and at some points, it almost broke us, but we always, always smiled.

Our team was a mix of all ages; men and women, all abilities, and of Deaf and hearing people. Out of seventeen, ten of the team are Deaf BSL users. They proved that deafness doesn’t have to hold any barriers – deaf or not, you can do anything you set your mind to.

We’re so proud of what they’ve achieved; not just over the weekend but over the last seven months preparing for this challenge. Together they’ve raised an incredible £12,500 for GDA and the total is still rising, making this GDA’s biggest fundraiser ever.

GDA is an award-winning local charity which supports more than 2,000 deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people in Gloucestershire. It does this through the provision of practical, social and advisory assistance, helping our clients to manage their lives more confidently and independently within the wider community.  Services include communications support, deaf employment and training, advocacy and information, listening aid and visual alert equipment, hearing aid maintenance, understanding deafness training, lip reading classes, hard of hearing clubs, deaf youth and children’s clubs and a range of social events for deaf adults.

The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. 

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